At the risk of sounding boastful, or jinxing myself, 2023 is starting off strong for me. My last two posts detailed submissions I’ve been able to make, including one new short play. Last weekend, I received word that another ten-minute play of mine, Basic Cable Method Acting, was accepted into a short play festival taking place in February and March here in New York. I’ll have more complete details in the weeks to come, Constant Reader, but the upshot is that I’m starting off the year with a production!
The thing of it is, this is one of those festivals which require you to produce the piece yourself, as they provide the space and coordinate the details of multiple shows going up in a single night. Which is fine; Basic Cable Method Acting is, by design, easy to produce, with nothing in the way of sets and minimal props and costume requirements. I do, of course, need actors – four of them, in fact, as well as a director to keep them on the same page. (My page, of course, but I may not have the time to direct the piece myself. Long story.) This past week, a friend of mine agreed to direct, and we had our first production phone call over the weekend, brainstorming names actors to reach out to.
It…was hard. Shockingly hard.
Because I work in the theatre, dammit! And this is a play about three young actors waiting in an audition room! This should be ridiculously easy to cast! Just check with my actor friends, see if it fits their schedules, and voila!
Except, I specified that these characters are young actors in a waiting room. And my friends are…well, they’re my friends. They’re somewhere around my age. And both the world of my play (young strivers auditioning for anything and everything they possibly can, no matter how sketchy) and the world of this particular production (one act-festivals in the far-flung outer boroughs, offering production credits to the young and hungry) are a bit removed from the world my friends inhabit. They have steady gigs. They have lives. They have family commitments and jobs and aren’t going to disrupt all of that to re-enter the world of off-off Broadway festivals.
I used to live in that world. Full time. I think I still inhabit it – or at least visit from time to time. But moments like this, where I have to try and consciously figure out who I know in this world, makes me realize just how far removed it’s become for me. How far removed it keeps becoming, as every new commitment on my part locks me more and more rigidly into my own path. Life used to be a non-stop cast party – not necessarily a fun party, mind you, but one where I kept bumping into new actors every five minutes or so. Now, I’m at home typing up scripts with my cat on my lap.
There’s nothing wrong with this, of course, and we’re about halfway to assembling our cast as I write this post anyway. But as I think about what an eventful two weeks this has been, I can’t help but remember the flip side of that – I’m another two weeks older. I’m not sure if I’m wiser, but I’m definitely not young any more.